By Sasha Banks-Louie | August 2020
Today, the telecom company is recognized by consumers for its high service levels, and it is meeting rising demand for mobile phone, home television, 4G, and 5G mobile services, caused in part by extended quarantine measures in both Chile and Perú to combat COVID-19. In both markets, Entel operates its own next-generation network infrastructure.
But scaling the company to this point meant Entel had to first build a digital, leaner, and more agile organization.
Entel was facing several challenges to compete in the Latin American telco sector, including having limited new products, which often took more than three months to launch. Its online channels lacked features and a modern experience, and it was shackled by expensive and obsolete legacy systems that took more than 100 people to operate and maintain, says Helder Branco, head of IT operations at Entel.
In 2015 Entel started a project, Transformacion Digital Entel (TDE), with three main objectives: to provide exceptional customer experiences, organizational efficiencies (including paperless, integrated, and automated operations), and best-in-class innovation and technology. TDE measured success by factors including time to market, customer satisfaction, access to real-time information, and reduced number of software applications.
While the idea to consolidate the company’s Chilean and Perúvian operations came easy to Branco, the reality of synchronizing each region’s software applications, operational processes, technology platforms, data centers, and consolidated teams and tools for administration and monitoring wasn’t easy at all.
“One of the best things about Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is that we can run all of our VMware workloads and other mission-critical applications for two companies, in two regions, on one cloud infrastructure. For us, migrating VMware to Oracle was fast, easy, and inexpensive.”
The team was juggling four data centers—two in Santiago and two in Lima—with 610 physical servers and more than 1,950 virtual machines. With more than 17 million customers requiring 24/7 services, traditional infrastructure was no longer enough. “We had to move to the cloud,” Branco says.
By February 2018, Entel started moving several business applications and platforms to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. “We were done buying hardware, negotiating contracts, managing warranties, and dealing with the physical installation of hardware in the data center,” Branco says. Branco looked at several cloud vendors, choosing Oracle because of its flexible and elastic capacity, performance for Oracle applications and databases, availability, and security. Oracle also offered from the beginning a top support team with expertise to define and help implement cloud services to run Entel’s critical business applications.
Since moving to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Entel has reduced the time it takes to implement infrastructure from months to less than two days. By using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Entel pays half the cost it used to pay to buy physical hardware. And it takes 90% less administration and monitoring effort.
Entel started its cloud journey by developing and testing five software projects in the cloud, and now it has hundreds of applications in production, monitored and administered by one consolidated team for Chile and Perú, says Entel’s infrastructure manager Alfredo Vaz Pinto.
Entel is now migrating several VMware-based workloads to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, including critical applications such as billing and inventory management that had run on premises. Using Oracle Cloud VMware Solution lets Entel extend the life and investments of those applications running on VMware, which “saves us a lot of time, money, and effort,” Vaz Pinto says.
With demand for mobile phone, home television, 4G, and 5G mobile services up amid the measures to combat COVID-19, there’s increased pressure on Entel to execute fast with better performance, fewer incidents, and zero downtime.
Rather than taking years to re-architect multiple applications and technology platforms to get them to run natively in the cloud, Entel is able to migrate most of its VMware environments to the cloud in a matter of weeks, retaining total control over updates, patches, and new deployments.
“One of the best things about Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is that we can run all of our VMware workloads and other mission-critical applications for two companies, in two regions, on one cloud infrastructure,” Vaz Pinto says. “For us, migrating VMware to Oracle was fast, easy, and inexpensive.”